News

South Sudan Says Not at War With Sudan

An April 14, 2012 photo shows Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) troops at their position in the Unity Oil Field near the front lines at Heglig.
An April 14, 2012 photo shows Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) troops at their position in the Unity Oil Field near the front lines at Heglig.
Hannah McNeish

South Sudan said Sudan has launched four new attacks in the last 24 hours on the as yet undefined border that the sides have been fighting over for weeks. The accusation follows threats from Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to destroy the South Sudanese government.

South Sudan’s occupation of a contested area of Heglig that Sudan uses to produces half its oil has sparked fears that what started as border clashes could lead to all-out war with Khartoum.

South Sudan government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Heglig is within a 1956 border left by former colonial power Britain. He said the south is now fending off attacks in three of its 10 states.

“The government of the Republic of Sudan is on continuous attack both bombardment and ground forces invasion into the territory of South Sudan, but the Republic of South Sudan has been able in self-defense to actually to repulse these wanton attacks within the borders of South Sudan," said Benjamin. "We would like to say again, up to now, we have not crossed, even an inch, into the borders of the Republic of Sudan.”


View Larger Map

Sudan's parliament voted this week to make South Sudan an enemy of the state, and on Wednesday President Omar al-Bashir vowed to to crush the southern government, which he described as an “insect,” and to “liberate” the south's people.

But despite the increasing war rhetoric and intense fighting on the border, Benjamin insisted that South Sudan was not at war with Sudan.

“That pronouncement by parliament in Khartoum is a declaration of war. The Republic of South Sudan is not in the state of war, nor is it interested in the war with Sudan, which we believe is a senseless war,” he said.

However, Benjamin said that southern troops would not pull out of Heglig unless both armies cease hostilities, agree to demarcate the border and pull out troops from the Abyei - another contested area on the border, which was occupied by Sudan Armed Forces, SAF last May.

South Sudan’s army - the SPLA - occupied Heglig, which the South calls Panthou, after pushing forces back for the second time. The south said the area was being used to launch attacks on South Sudan.

“The SPLA forces are in Panthou, which is Heglig, to put to an end repeated attacks by Sudan Armed Forces - SAF - into the positions of the SPLA," Benjamin said. "The presence of SAF in Panthou, has been a security threat to SPLA positions in the area.”

South Sudan also said it is ready to restart negotiations with Sudan, that aimed to address outstanding issues over territory, borders, and the sharing of oil revenues following southern secession last July.

But while war rhetoric mounts, it remains to be seen what can draw these two former civil war foes back from the brink of a renewed bitter conflict.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs